Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:44 am
Location: NC

Bermuda Grass and Wild Blackberries

Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum, and really I am new to gardening
as well. My mother has a decent sized garden that includes her prized
rose bushes as well as some vegetibles, flowers, and trees. She is
ill and handicapped now and is not able to care for the garden the
way she used to. In some hopes of keeping her spirits up, I decided
to adopt the garden as my own. She is still helping, but I am doing
the main part of the work these days.

Because of this, I am sure I will have plenty of questions for you
over time!

My first question involves bermuda grass. Our lawn is bermuda grass,
that is what they chose for the lawn when the development was built
and we had no say in the matter. I am sure you know what a pain
bermuda grass is for anyone with a garden. We've done a lot to get
rid of it in the beds, but it does not seem to work. Everything is
being over run with grass.

In an attempt to save the rose bushes that are slowly dying (some are
already gone) we have spent the last three weeks out there ripping
the grass up by hand. Today we put down a sort of plastic "weed
blocker" tarp (it didn't cover every inch, sadly, but it isn't possibly to get it to do so) that will be covered by pine straw tomorrow. Obviously
we didn't get every blade of grass out of the ground this way, but we
managed to get a good deal of it. I am sure it will regrow. And we
have large areas of the beds that cannot be covered in this tarp.
Only the bed containing the rose bushes was done.

The other problem is the wild blackberries that appear to get roots
that can tow a car! I pulled up the record breaker this afternoon
with a 20 foot long root that was almost an inch and half thick or more. I've been pulling them for weeks, as well, and have the scars from the thorns to prove it.

What is the best way to help prevent these things? My first concern
is the grass. I can rip up the blackberries, but the grass is not so
easy. It destroys the entire garden every single year. By July we
can no longer find the plants in the grass. Can this crap be killed
and prevented? Is there a way to save my garden?

Thanks for any help, and sorry for being so long winded.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

Hi WolfBard,

Welcome to The Helpful Gardener. I think it's wonderful that you would help your mom in this way. Bermudagrass can be a real pain to control. Here's a site with some good ideas. You are on the right track with covering the areas with weed fabric.

You don't say what type of edging you have, but a trench type of edging would probably be helpful. Scroll down here to 'Dropped-lawn edge'.

I had to giggle when you described the root of the blackberries. Here's some non-chemical ways to remove blackberries.

Don't worry about being long winded. The more info you give, the better we can help. :)


Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:44 am
Location: NC

Thank you thank you thank you! I'll be forwarding those links on to mom, too. She's about ready to give up, and to be honest, her garden has given me some great nature photos over the years. I'd hate to lose my muse. :D

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